Don’t Wait Until Monday: Dental Emergencies That Require Immediate Care

In a perfect world, nothing bad would ever happen on the weekend. After a hard week of work, all you want to do on Saturday is relax, get the chores done, and have some fun. Maybe you’re playing some casual basketball when a wild elbow swing connects squarely with your jaw. A close inspection by one of your friends shows you’ve knocked out an old filling.

10 am on a Saturday morning, and you’re grimacing in pain with a broken tooth. Great.

In this scenario and many similar dental emergencies, there are three options people consider:

  1. Visiting the emergency room at the local hospital
  2. Contacting an emergency dental office
  3. Suffering through the weekend while most dental clinics are closed and trying to get an appointment the following week.

Which of these options is best for your situation? What dental problems can wait, and what needs immediate attention? Let’s break it down.

When to go to the emergency room:

As a rule of thumb, life-threatening emergencies need to be brought to the emergency room. Mouth trauma that is considered life-threatening includes:

● Difficulty Breathing – When you can’t breathe or struggle to get oxygen, you need to get to the hospital as fast as possible.

● Uncontrollable Bleeding – This is bleeding that continues for over 30 minutes. It can be hard to put pressure on bleeds inside the mouth. A helpful tip is to bite down on a black tea bag. The acid associated with black tea is a powerful blood-clotting agent.

● Widespread Infections – Infections that affect parts of the neck, jaw, and head; these might cause irreversible damage unless operated on by a surgeon.

Oral surgeons and emergency physicians are trained to treat these problems. If you find yourself in this kind of emergency and no ride to the hospital, call an ambulance.

When to go to an emergency dental office:

Emergency dental offices specialize in urgent dental care issues that require immediate attention. Some practices may even offer extended hours to treat urgent problems. Emergency dentists treat issues that can’t wait for an appointment, which may be weeks away, but may not require a trip to the hospital’s ER. Keeping emergency room traffic down increases the speed and quality of care for people in life-threatening situations, saving lives.

Suppose you knocked out a filling, like the unfortunate Saturday baller. In that case, you are best off searching out an emergency dentist appointment. Other maladies emergency dental offices look after include:

● Toothaches – These can be caused by various factors and quickly become extremely painful. No one should have to live with a tooth that feels like it’s about to explode.

● Infections – These are identified by swelling and a red and tender area around the infection. It might become painful to chew food or smile. Some infections are much worse than others. Many infections need to be drained and treated with antibiotics as soon as possible. This urgent care guards against the infection spreading and causing serious damage.

● Cracked teeth – Broken teeth hurt. Minor chips removed from the root of the tooth may not be excruciating but still, need to be examined and treated by a professional to avoid a tooth infection or plaque build-up.

● Other symptoms – Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell what’s wrong with your teeth. It always pays to call an emergency dental office. They will give you sound advice on whether you need to come in right away or not.

When to schedule a week-day dentist appointment:

On the less traumatic end of the spectrum are dental issues that don’t require immediate attention. Telling the difference between what can wait and what can’t isn’t always straightforward. Some emergencies aren’t painful, while some non-emergencies, like paper cuts, hurt a lot. Here are some common dental problems that can wait for an appointment:

● Discolored Teeth – Yellow or brown aren’t the natural color for teeth. Fortunately, this discoloration also won’t hurt you. Book an appointment at the next convenient time for you. Clean teeth decrease the likelihood of expensive operations down the road.

● Minor Toothaches that Respond to Pain Medication – It’s still vital to book an appointment! Minor toothaches often mean there is something that needs fixing, just maybe not in the next couple of hours. If you are concerned, however, it is always best to consult an emergency dental office.

● Cold Sensitive Teeth – This usually means you have a cavity or two that needs filling. Fillings are a simple procedure, so it’s worth booking an appointment before it becomes a bigger and more expensive issue.

To find out whether you need attention sooner rather than later, don’t hesitate to call us here at My Emergency Dental. We are proud to offer extended service hours seven days a week.

We offer same day dentistry. If your symptoms don’t require an emergency visit, no problem, we also do non-emergency dental work. The only thing you won’t get from us is unhelpful critical comments or judgmental feedback. We understand everyone’s teeth come from unique backgrounds and require case-specific care.

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